Third stake­holder sem­i­nar as part of the Ma­rine En­vi­ron­men­tal Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­ject

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

As part of ERA’s com­mit­ment in re­la­tion to the mon­i­tor­ing of the state of the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment and to bet­ter our qual­ity of life, ERA has com­mis­sioned Malta Ma­rine Mon­i­tor­ing Con­sor­tium, com­prised of AIS En­vi­ron­ment Ltd (Malta) and AZTI Tec­na­lia (Spain), to take on the pro­ject en­ti­tled Im­ple­men­ta­tion and up­dat­ing of ma­rine mon­i­tor­ing pro­grammes, as­sess­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal sta­tus and de­vel­op­ment of a ma­rine data­base sys­tem.

The ul­ti­mate goals of this Eu­ro­pean Mar­itime and Fish­eries Fund (EMFF 2014-2020) pro­ject are to de­vise a holis­tic ap­proach to­wards ma­rine mon­i­tor­ing and de­velop a data­base hous­ing the data col­lected. Con­crete data and in­for­ma­tion from the pro­ject will be used to de­velop bet­ter man­age­ment prac­tices to ad­dress pres­sures on ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal re­sources. In this re­gard, the pro­ject will as­sist the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Malta’s obli­ga­tions as an EU mem­ber state in re­la­tion to the ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal sec­tor.

The data­base will be sup­ple­mented by rel­e­vant ma­rine datasets and will fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess of mon­i­tor­ing data to the pub­lic. The En­vi­ron­ment and Re­sources Au­thor­ity is ex­pected to ab­sorb the full €1.6m in pub­lic el­i­gi­ble EMFF funds (75% EU 25% MT), which were al­lo­cated for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ma­rine mon­i­tor­ing pro­gramme.

The work­shop held on 11 De­cem­ber was the third of the four sem­i­nars to be held as part of this pro­ject. The main ob­jec­tives of this par­tic­u­lar ses­sion were to:

• In­tro­duce the pro­ject and its main ob­jec­tives • Give an over­view of the progress of the pro­ject so

far

• De­scribe the data col­lected through­out the proj

ect

• Give an over­view of the data­base and the rel­e­vant pol­icy ap­pli­ca­tions

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from M3C (Yas­min Schem­bri and Yolanda Sa­garmi­naga) pre­sented an in­tro­duc­tion to the pro­ject, the data col­lected and tech­ni­cal de­tails on the data­base. En­ti­ties in­clud­ing the Min­istry for Gozo, the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture and Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf Direc­torate were rep­re­sented at the work­shop.

The sem­i­nar was closed off with a Q&A ses­sion dur­ing which some com­ments were put for­ward by the at­ten­dees, most no­tably queries re­gard­ing the pub­lic avail­abil­ity of the data­base.

The re­sults of this pro­ject, in­clud­ing stake­holder feed­back, will con­trib­ute to ef­fec­tive man­age­ment and sus­tain­able use of ma­rine re­sources, for the ben­e­fit of the en­vi­ron­ment and of all ma­rine sec­tors. Through this pro­ject, the en­vi­ron­men­tal sta­tus of Malta’s coastal and ma­rine wa­ters will be as­sessed, which will en­able Malta to con­tinue work­ing to­wards achiev­ing Good En­vi­ron­men­tal Sta­tus in our ma­rine wa­ters.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, please con­tact [email protected] or call on +356 2292 3500 Mon­day to Fri­day, 8am to 3pm.

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